Peeler Portraits: Painting Portraits, a Female’s Perspective


While many people spent their spring break on beaches or exploring new cities, some students spent it isolated in their rooms working on new art pieces. Not unlike the relaxation that accompanies laying out on the beach and reading a good book, the same rejuvenation can be achieved through putting paint on canvas. For freshman Brielle Bait, these nine days away from school provided a time to focus on her painting. In her room, Brielle painted on found materials such as cardboard and cloth.

Brielle started painting when she was 7, but she claims that she has been making art for most of her life. Like many prospective art students, her visit to DePauw included a tour of Peeler with painting professor John Berry. After taking Intro to Painting with Berry during her first semester, Brielle signed her major declaration. Following this, she traveled to Texas during winter with Berry and 9 other students, including myself. And while Brielle has only taken one class in Peeler, she has already seen significant growth in her work.  

Why did you chose to major in art? Do you see yourself pursuing art outside of the classroom?

I chose to major in art because this is what I have always done and what I’ve always wanted to do. Making art has never really felt like work for me. I want to be an artist of some sort. Maybe painting or digital creation. I definitely want to make art. I thought that winter term pushed me to come up with my own ideas because it was one of the first times where I wasn’t making art for a class and it wasn’t for an assignment

What does your art usually look like?

As of now, painting is my favorite medium- just because I haven’t gone as in depth with any other medium. I’ve definitely gotten a lot more focused on people. As I’ve developed my skills I have been working on larger surfaces and different surfaces, such as cardboard and cloth. Right now I am trying to develop my own style. So I am working on techniques,rather than coming up with concepts. My favorite thing about painting is brainstorming new projects— that’s honestly the most fun part of it. Most of it is based off of my personal experiences, and I like painting portraits. I paint a lot of females; I don’t really paint males. I usually end up painting people who look a lot like me, because I identify with them and it is easy to make them realistic.

Do you have a favorite artist?

I don’t have a favorite artist, but some of my work in the past has been inspired by Dali and I have always been interested in surrealism.

What would your dream gallery look like?

My dream gallery would probably be a smaller gallery somewhere away from the city that’s really chill and I would have a ton of work in it that filled all the walls because I don’t f*** with the big open space, white walls like museums have.